Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I was pretty sure Ben Affleck was talking to me during his Oscar speech last month...

You have to work as hard as you possibly can. You can’t hold grudges—it’s hard, but you can’t hold grudges. It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, because that is going to happen. All that matters is that you have got to get up.

He really could have come-right out and said, "Hey, Diana Rissetto, I know you're out there watching this and sappy Oscar speeches are among your favorite things in the entire world, so this one is for you, since I know you've gotten knocked-down many times over the past couple of years, professionally/personally/romantically etc. etc. etc. and I KNOW how you tend to hold grudges sometimes and can't let go of people and memories that have really hurt you, and writers are hyper-sensitive and extra-emotional people (because Ben Affleck knows) but you just have to make like that Don Henley song 'Heart of the Matter' and let it all go, Diana, because you're better than that and capable of so many great things!"(He's such a good guy, that Ben.)

Ever since I had this conversation with my friend which I wrote about here (http://www.dianagolightly.blogspot.com/2013/02/maybe-hes-right.html), combined with Ben's speech, I've reframed my thinking a bit and a few things have happened once I stopped obsessing and worrying so much.

Last week, I saw somebody who pretty much broke my heart/sucked-out my soul/crushed my spirit/destroyed my confidence.

I did something Ben would have disapproved of, and I held a grudge regarding this person for years.

I would see this person about town and I'd hide, feel sick and let it ruin my night.

I would even immediately judge people who shared the same first name as this person.

But when I saw this person last week, I said out loud, "I'm going to go right over to him and give him a very warm hello. He doesn't own this city."

I did that, and, honestly, going up to somebody that hurt you that much and being kind to them and smiling (and not in a snarky way) is probably the hardest thing you will ever do...

...but it also makes you feel like you can conquer the world after you've done so.

If I can do THAT, I can do ANYTHING (and "anything" includes writing our generation's answer to Annie Hall.)

So, after I did this, and walked-off into the city night all by myself, I WAS kinda hoping that a sidewalk saxophone player would have appeared, playing "Heart of the Matter"  ("There are people in your life who've come and gone/They let you down, you know they hurt your pride/You better put it all behind you , 'cause life goes on/ If you keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside") for me, and imagined giving Ben Affleck a high-five, as I just kept going (what else can you really do?)

I tend to trip a lot in the street. I like wearing high heels, but I'm also hard on my shoes and they are always falling apart. (My mother constantly yells at me for that and says people will most certainly judge me for my shoes always falling apart. I'm sure she's right, but I just accepted a while ago that it is just my lot in life to never own a pair of shoes that don't fall apart).

I didn't trip that night (you know, after I high-fived Ben Affleck as my sidewalk saxophonist played Don Henley), but if I HAD tripped...I would have gotten right back up...because that's all that matters.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Part 543 of "My GOSH, that Peter Cincotti is spectacularly talented!"

Yes, I go on and on about how great this guy is. No, I'm not his publicist, or a family member, even though I'm pretty sure Peter assumes I am a cousin because who ELSE would that friendly, enthusiastic, Italian-American-looking brunette he sees at all his New York shows BE?

I was going to pass on Tuesday night's concert at the Highline, but then two things happened...1.) I was hired on the spot for a new job that afternoon and realized I should celebrate and 2.) I realized I just wanted to see him perform. Because it's Peter Cincotti. And, although I saw him just a month ago, every show is greater than the last.

On my way into the concert, there was a couple with a young boy doing math puzzles. I overheard the woman say to the kid, "You know our Peter Cincotti story, right?" The young boy didn't look terribly interested, but said that he did, and I said, "I would love to hear your Peter Cincotti story!"

It turns-out this couple got ENGAGED at a Peter Cincotti show (at the Algonquin Hotel) over ten  years ago! Peter (and I) were merely teenagers back then.

I have no idea why, but I found that story delightful and wonderful and told them so. Just like I usually do, I made friends with this family. I mentioned my new job, and the lady commented that I had reason to celebrate at Peter's show that night, and I told her that, unfortunately, I probably wouldn't be getting engaged that evening.

She glanced over at her son and apologized that he wasn't old enough for me.

The following happened a couple of years ago, and in typical Jersey boy/girl fashion, the story made numerous appearances on my Facebook feed...

Here is Bruce Springsteen crashing an engagement photoshoot.


With all due respect to the Boss, Peter Cincotti performing at one's engagement trumps all else. Seriously.

I didn't talk to this couple after the show (which was, of course, phenomenal....as always...but everybody is, I am sure, tired of my rave reviews of this guy), but I hope when they heard his voice live, they remembered that special day over a decade a go.

Since it's too late for Peter's song "Forever and Always" to be played at their wedding, I would like to suggest that Peter play this song at my own wedding (whenever that might be.)


At the concert, I was standing next to several young people who were clearly friends of Peter and their enthusiasm over each number was absolutely lovely and very contagious. Now, I have had several of my original plays produced. I am never onstage, but pacing in the back, waiting and praying for people to laugh. I have been blessed with many extremely supportive and enthusiastic friends of my own, who come to cheer me on at every play, but, unfortunately,  it's not appropriate to go too wild with cheers and hoots and hollers during  a play. (If any of my friends are reading this, please attempt to cheer crazily during actual scenes my next play. This might sound out-of-place if it's the one about the Holocaust, but let's see what you can do. Thank you.) The energy of Peter's friends made me smile, especially since they've probably been cheering so wildly for him ever since around the time that lovely couple got engaged at the Algonquin.

And who can blame them? Personal connection to the young man or not, he's just so good! So, so, so GOOD.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, March 4, 2013

Even my dreams are like dopey romantic comedies now!

Last night, I had a dream that I was working in a stationary store. (This would have been a dream come TRUE for 12-year-old Diana who had a pen pal in every state and loved stationary. I still miss writing letters.)

The One That Got Away (who I genuinely haven't even thought about in a while) and his girlfriend (who I never met) came into the store to shop for wedding invitations.

I bet in the Romantic Comedy extended version of this story, I would be Rachel McAdams, he'd be James Franco, the girlfriend would be Emma from Glee and then they'd feel obligated to awkwardly invite me to the wedding and I'd fall in love with one of the ushers. (Who would be played by Ryan Gosling, and then this would be the adorable story behind Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams getting back together. It's what everybody wants for them, isn't it?)


Or do I just go get a job at a stationary store? Is that what it means?

Diana Rissetto